Zahidi Dates also known as Zahedi dates are just one of the varieties of dates lovingly produced in Iran – home of the most exquisite dates in the world. Of these, the Zahedi date is considered the most frequently used variety of date in Iran. It is considered one of the most delicious dry dates in the world.
The most extensive production of Zahedi dates takes place in Dashtestan, a city in Bushehr province. Bushehr province is located in the south of the country, where the weather is hot and dry and has lead to the province being a prominent producer of date palms. In fact, date palms are the only produce in Bushehr province that are exported.
Zahedi dates are thick, small, oval dates, about 3.5cm in size. Zahedi dates have a distinctive appearance; they are hard, shiny and dried up, sometimes their skins sticks to the flesh and sometimes, based on weather (heat, humidity), the fruit skin will separate from the fleshy part. They range from yellow to light brown in colour depending on ripeness. With a moisture content of less than 14%, lower than that of other varieties, they are considered a dried fruit.
Zahedi dates can be eaten directly, with variety of different foodstuffs for different flavour combinations. They make a delicious addition to cereal, puddings, bread, cakes, cookies, ice cream or candy bars. Surplus dates from production are not wasted, being processed into cubes, paste, spread, powder (date sugar), jam, jelly, juice, syrup, vinegar and alcohol. Other products produced using Zahedi dates include palm sugar, chocolate, fruit bars and certain soft drinks. They are also a popular choice amongst diabetics because of their low and natural sugar.